COLUMBIA -- Steve Spurrier said he doesn't think the South Carolina football program is in serious trouble with the NCAA, but the Gamecocks head coach declined to talk about quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus' ties to leaders of a Delaware mentoring program central to the infraction allegations sent to the university Monday.
"They did mention one of our coaches, G.A. Mangus," Spurrier said Tuesday in his first public comments on the NCAA allegations. "Not that he's broken any rules, but he did have a prior relationship with the guys up there in the Philly-New Jersey area, so that's why his name was mentioned."
Asked specifically if he knew Mangus had ties to Student- Athlete Mentoring Foundation officials Steve Gordon and Kevin Lahn, Spurrier said, "I'm not getting into all that."
Gordon and Lahn are South Carolina graduates who have been "disassociated" from Gamecocks athletics because they allegedly
provided $8,000 worth of incentives to prospective athletes, including Gamecocks wide receiver Damiere Byrd.
Byrd is serving a four-game suspension and must repay $2,700 in recruiting inducements the NCAA says he got from the SAM Foundation.
The NCAA alleges that South Carolina athletes received a total of $55,000 in improper benefits, mostly from a discounted $14.59 nightly rate at Columbia's Whitney Hotel from May 2009 to October 2010.
"I hope we're not in serious trouble," Spurrier said. "I don't think we're going to be. But you work things out and you do what they say, and that's what our university is doing, so hopefully things will work out."
South Carolina has until Dec. 14 to respond to the allegations. Spurrier, Mangus, school president Harris Pastides, athletic director Eric Hyman, track coach Curtis Frye, assistant men's basketball coach Mike Boynton and compliance director Jennifer Stiles must appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions in Los Angeles on Feb. 17-18.
"I don't think it's embarrassing to get a letter," Spurrier said. "I think some stuff can happen and unfortunately it happened, and we'll try to handle it the very best we can."